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Study: New York and California lack personal liberty more than all other states

Thursday, April 18, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: liberty, nanny state, California

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(NaturalNews) One of the reasons why our founding fathers were skeptical of big centralized government is because they believed that Americans, in essence, should be able to vote with their feet. That is, if they didn't much care for the abundance of laws and regulations in one state, they could pack up their belongings and move to another state with fewer laws and regulations (big centralized government, you see, makes this a moot principle because you can't escape one-size-fits-all federal laws and regulations).

And while the federal government has grown far beyond anything our founders imagined the states still retain a degree of autonomy (especially if they pass laws legalizing pot, but that's a discussion for another day). So Americans fed up with byzantine, bloated bureaucracies and tyrannical laws in one state can still pack up and vote with their feet.

With this founding principle in mind, if you happen to be contemplating such a move for these very reasons, there are two states where you definitely do not want to relocate: New York and California.

That's because these two states represent the two biggest epicenters of big government nanny statism and vastly diminished personal freedoms, according to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The Nanny State loses out to liberty

The study, titled, "Freedom in the 50 States," was published in late March and, among other factors, took into account "fiscal issues such as job prospects and tax rates, regulatory policies that include property rights and personal freedoms such as gun laws."

The authors of the study said that "New York ranks dead last" when "it comes to overall freedom" because of efforts by statist control freaks like billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to ban things like large sodas and more guns while imposing higher taxes for cigarettes and other items he doesn't approve of. Meanwhile, equally zealous anti-liberty-minded Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has just signed new restrictive gun control legislation by exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy along with like-minded Assembly Democrats.

And indeed, the study said, "New Yorkers are voting with their feet, with roughly 1.7 million leaving (the state) between 2000 and 2010)." Californians, meanwhile, are also fleeing in droves; they are departing for more business-friendly states like Texas because of high taxes and burdening, costly business and environmental regulations.

Rounding out the "top five states" with the worst freedom-and-liberty records are New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

Of the 13 original colonies - Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia - most fare poorly on the freedom list (ironically, Vice President Biden's home state of Delaware comes in at #17, believe it or not).

By comparison, the study also found the "top five states with the most freedom are North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma."

Freedom breeds prosperity breeds freedom

What makes these other states more successful? The answer is simple: Freedom breeds prosperity, and Americans - despite our president's disgraceful class warfare - prefer prosperity.

"People follow jobs, and jobs follow freedom. That's one of the main results from the third and much improved edition of the Mercatus Center's 'Freedom in the Fifty States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom,'" writes Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, in the Washington Examiner.

"The most interesting finding [of the study] is that when controlling for climate and other variables, all three dimensions of freedom are positively correlated to migration, but the results are exceptionally strong for economic (fiscal and regulatory) freedom," she writes.

"In other words, people tend to move to economically freer states. One explanation is that economic freedom tends to be a fairly good indicator of prosperity."

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